An Austin man, who stabbed his girlfriend 27 times with a screwdriver when she was recovering from surgery, pleaded guilty Tuesday on the opening day of his aggravated assault trial.
Willie Lee Brady Jr., 40, accepted a 25-year prison sentence, the low end of his punishment range, rather than continuing with the trial and risking up to a life sentence from a Travis County judge.
He informed his attorney of his decision during a break from the victim’s emotional testimony in which she told the court how she was punched, choked and stabbed on the morning of Dec. 4, 2015, during a fight with Brady over money he said was missing. The day before, the woman had been discharged from the hospital after foot surgery.
About 11:30 a.m., police responded to a disturbance at a Motel 6 in South Austin. The woman said Brady, her boyfriend of two years, shoved her in the face, prompting her to call hotel security to have him removed, according to the arrest affidavit. But the violence continued, with Brady striking her in the mouth with a closed fist, she said.
The woman grabbed a screwdriver from her purse and slashed at Brady, cutting him above the eye, but he knocked the screwdriver loose, threw her to the bed and applied his forearm to the front of her neck, a police affidavit says. The woman told police she could not breathe for several seconds and was seeing stars.
She suspected Brady was high on “wet,” or embalming fluid, according to the affidavit. Prosecutors said they think he was under the influence of PCP.
A struggle for the screwdriver ensued, and Brady got to it first. He stabbed the victim repeatedly, striking her in the legs, buttocks, abdomen and left forearm, which required stitches, the affidavit says. Police found the screwdriver outside of the room under a jacket belonging to Brady.
According to the indictment, Brady had four previous felony convictions for possession of a controlled substance and a felony conviction for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.